Imminent Red Bull announcement of Honda switch

Red Bull were keenly looking at the race last weekend in Montreal to assess the two most recent manufacturer upgrades from Renault and Honda.

Red Bull are in a unique position in Formula 1 as they are a team that can accurately assess two power unit designs from two different manufacturers at the same time, due to the fact they own two teams on the grid. Red Bull Racing currently use the Renault power unit, and last year their junior team Toro Rosso switched to Honda Power after the failure of the partnership between McLaren and the Japanese manufacturer Honda.

TJ13 revealed last week that Red Bull bosses would be making this assessment in Canada in order for them to make an informed decision on whether to stick with Renault or to become the Honda works team and such a decision would likely be announced by the Austrian Grand Prix.

Renault nearly refused to allow Red Bull their most recent upgrade at the Canadian Grand Prix for several reasons; firstly the manufacturer claims that there was a limited supply of upgrades but in reality French manufacturer wanted to put Red Bull under pressure to make a decision. Secondly the  Renault management were unsure whether they would want their former works team to have the unique position of being able to compare one engine upgrade to the others. Never underestimate the penchant for Gallic pride on the board.

It is understood that Red Bull were requiring Honda to, not necessarily be the most powerful or fastest, but to set out specific goals and achieve them avoiding any mistakes or errors in their development claims. Something that was rather a regular problem during the McLaren days.

Now it seems that Red Bull have discovered that Honda have made good on not only their development goals outlined before Canada but in fact they improved significantly in power also.

Red Bulls Helmut Marko claims to the German press yesterday that “we are talking about 3 tenths faster lap times” by Honda. And with that, it appears a decision has been made early – Red Bull will switch to Honda and that an announcement is very likely to happen before the Austrian Grand Prix.

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8 responses to “Imminent Red Bull announcement of Honda switch

  1. In this hybrid engine dominated era that we are currently in, you will simply not win the championship as a ‘customer’ team. The manufacturer has too much control over the engine power output and will naturally always favour their own team. During the first four seasons of the hybrid era Mercedes won 61 races and their 2 customer teams won none. Ron Dennis recognised this straight away which is why he decided to gamble and sign up with Honda. Unfortunately Mclaren didn’t handle the situation very well and the relationship completely broke down which is a shame because it looks like Honda are making some headway and finally catching up with the Renault PU.

    • BS. They would have had the best power unit if they stayed with Mercedes. If they had a chassis to match the performance they would have won, customer or not.

  2. I realized that Red Bull will switch to Honda after the Renault top persons started to talk about ultimatum. And RB kept silence instead of trying to smooth an angles. This is like McLaren and Honda – the moment when you must divorce to keep your pride even you see that situation is changing.

    • I think Renault started to talk about ultimatums when they realized that the switch to Honda is an actual option. Really get the idea that someone at Renault has made a big miscalculation of the situation. Renault doesn’t spend the most on their engine, and the R&D budget for next year might be 33% lower because the top will not fix the loss of the RB money. I also wonder about Sainz, did they loan him to Renault to get an extension on the engine decision deadline?

  3. Pingback: Renault: Our upgrade better than Honda's - thejudge13·

    • It is most satisfying when my sources are proved correct, which they are 90% of the time!

  4. Pingback: Red Bull Honda deal agreed as far back as Monaco - thejudge13·

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